The family of a Pakistani inmate on death-row in China has requested the governments of both Pakistan and China to intervene and halt the execution of Shah Hussain, 50, who is set to be executed on Friday (today).
Shah Hussain had been reportedly convicted of smuggling narcotics in China, his elder son Saddam Hussain told DawnNews, claiming that his father was sentenced to death in a baseless and false case of smuggling.
He said that the family received a telephone call on January 6 from China and the caller, who introduced himself as Mohammad Akhtar, a Pakistan embassy official in China, told the family about the sentence handed over to Shah Hussain.
The official informed that "Hussain was set to be hanged on January 13". He also told the family that if they intend to visit China to receive the body after execution, they would have to come and reside on their own.
Saddam further said that the family has not been in contact with Shah Hussain for almost last three years now.
He added that his father, a driver by profession, had left for Iran three years ago. He initially remained in contact with the family over telephone for a month or so and then suddenly he stopped calling. "Since then we have had no direct with him.
After two years of Shah Hussain's suspected disappearance, the family received a call from a Pakistani official in China telling them that their father had been "arrested in a case pertaining to smuggling of narcotics".
"We were told that our father has been kept at some Guangzhou detention centre," Saddam said.
Since then the family has repeatedly tried to approach the Chinese authorities and also contacted the foreign office, requesting them to intervene in the matter.
Shahid Hussain, the brother of detained convict Shah, went to the Foreign Office and submitted an application before the director (China), requesting the authorities to change the punishment from death row to life imprisonment.
But according to the family, they have not received any response from the Chinese authorities till date.
Moreover, terming the allegations baseless, Saddam argued that they would not have been living so hand to mouth life in the remote suburbs of Peshawar, had his father been a smuggler.
Saddam requested the governments to spare his father for the sake of Pakistan-China friendship. He also demanded of the government of Pakistan, human rights activists, international bodies of human rights to intervene and halt the execution.
The alleged convict Hussain is the father of seven, including three sons. His wife died more than three years ago, while his youngest son Roman is 10-year-old.